Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Creative Outlets

Everyone needs a creative outlet. I happen to get mine through cooking, through scrapbooking (yeah, like I have time for that!), and through my children. One example of when I get to be creative is at my children's birthdays. Each year we have a theme selected by the kids (okay, we select them when they are young, but base it on their interests). Together, my husband and I come up with an invitation. This is usually me finding samples, examples and suggestions on-line, based on the theme and him putting together the actual invitation. Then, I bake and decorate a cake based on our theme.

Just this past weekend we had an outer space party for my now 5 year old son. We created invitations in the form of a recruitment letter to join our mission leader (the birthday boy) on a space mission. The recruitment letter came complete with an official badge for each invitee to allow access to "restricted areas".

Staying with our theme, the cake was a model of the solar system. It was a lot of fun figuring out how to make the cakes to a reasonable scale (it's the technical nature in me coming out) and then how to decorate them so they looked like the planets. Saturn was a bit of a challenge initially, but I wound up using sugar cookies broken in half to create the ring. From some angles, it looked like a scalloped ring, but from the angle in my picture, it was a rather nice looking ring. I included Pluto, despite its recent downgrade to dwarf planet. I used a combination of mini cupcakes, regular cupcakes, small bowls, large bowls (Pyrex is oven safe, just be sure to preheat) and a Bundt pan to create my Solar System. The Sun was painted with frosting and Pluto, to keep scale, is just dab of frosting. Check out the results here: